Author Topic: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm  (Read 11093 times)

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Offline Rick Christopherson

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RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« on: May 24, 2019, 07:51 AM »
I've had this design on my computer for 3 or 4 years now, but haven't pursued it until now because the cards just weren't right before. About a month ago, everything fell into place, and I discovered that I can actually produce these vacuum boom arms at a marketable price.

My question is, how much interest is there in a production 8-foot articulating boom arm? It has an 8-foot radius, so it can actually span a 16-foot diameter sweep in a workshop. It has one tube for dust extraction, and a second tube for user-defined content, such as compressed air, VacSys vacuum air, electrical power, etc., whatever you need. Over time, I will be offering various options to go with it. At some point, I will probably also offer a smaller 6-foot version too.

This happened so fast that I haven't figured out an exact price-point yet, but I anticipate being able to offer these somewhere between $1200 and $1500. When you consider that Festool's vac-mounted boom arm costs over $400 for only 3-feet of extension, this price range seems very reasonable for nearly 3-times the reach, at 8-foot extension....plus articulated on top of that.

The project is a "GO" and I'm pulling the trigger on the initial production run in the next couple of days, but I would really like to know in advance how much interest there is in them. I've already decided on a minimum first-production quantity, but I am also concerned that initial interest might be higher than expected, and I don't want to get caught off guard. So let me know how much interest there is in these.

« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 07:56 AM by Rick Christopherson »

Online RKA

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 08:11 AM »
Not interested at this time, but I think you would need to provide some mounting details as that might restrict or raise concern for some applications.  Stick framed garages and hollow block walls would probably cover 90% of the installations.  I remember from your post many years ago you worked out something to mount it in your basement, but it did require care with 8 ft of span on the arm.
-Raj

Offline nvalinski

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 08:26 AM »
Not interested at the moment, but would be very appealing in a larger shop space. Are there any provisions to have something similar to the energy box that Festool offers? And can the vacuum hose be the lower pipe so that wires/air piping doesn't run into the downward drop?

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 08:28 AM »
Yes, you are referring to my Festool ASA-5000, which is 16 feet long. This boom arm is only 8 feet long, for the very reason you mention. The engineering to mount an 8-foot boom arm is far more simple. Plus, the cost is about 1/5 what Festool wants for the ASA-5000.

Nevertheless, I did design this to capture the best features of the ASA-5000 boom arm in a more user-friendly package for home workshop use.

Here is a picture of my ASA-5000, and you can see the dust extraction hose, VacSys vacuum hose, Compressed air hose, switched electrical power to trigger the CT-vac, and unswitched electrical power. I also have a "tool Balancer" to take up the slack of the vacuum hose when not in use. This will be one of the first options I offer on my boom arm too.

BUT.....not very many woodworkers can afford the $5000 price tag of the ASA-5000, nor will their workshops even physically support one. That's why I designed this for the typical woodworker.


Offline promark747

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2019, 09:21 AM »
Is that the actual color scheme or just what you used on your computer?

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2019, 09:23 AM »
Is that the actual color scheme or just what you used on your computer?

No, that's the SolidWorks model of the design. I use high-contrast colors to help the assemblers to identify parts.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2019, 10:40 AM »
Rick, maybe you could provide a table estimating the loads on the mounting fasteners at full extension with various (likely) loads carried by the arm. This might get so people off the fence who guess they don’t have a way to mount the arm.

Offline Sparktrician

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2019, 10:56 AM »
The shorter unit is of potential interest to me for the future.  Can't use it in my existing scenario, but I won't be here forever... 
- Willy -

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Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2019, 10:59 AM »
Definitely interested at that price point. Would like to see a functional sample mounted on the wall to see what the final product looks like. Thx for you effort on this. I have all but had it fighting with the boom arm on my vacuum.

Offline zapdafish

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2019, 11:21 AM »
if it could be fitted to a garage support pole and I had the funds I'd be thinking very hard about it  It would be perfect in my garage but  tbh, I'd be very hard to justify it.

I'm a hobbyiest and unfortunately I've discovered another hobby that is more expensive than woodworking, lol.

(not a pic of mine but similar)
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Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2019, 11:24 AM »
I'm a hobbyiest and unfortunately I've discovered another hobby that is more expensive than woodworking, lol.
Do tell?

Offline zapdafish

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2019, 11:33 AM »
Shooting. Got started with handguns and have an AR Pistol inbound. And you know my tastes considering how I am in the Festool forums, lol. Just didn't want to offend anyone who doesn't like guns but since you asked  [big grin]

I'm a hobbyiest and unfortunately I've discovered another hobby that is more expensive than woodworking, lol.
Do tell?
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Offline elfick

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2019, 12:26 PM »
What are you thinking for diameter of the vacuum tube? I'm wonder if this is extractor/vac only or if it could be used with a larger DC.

Offline Cheese

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2019, 12:26 PM »
The shorter unit is of potential interest to me for the future.  Can't use it in my existing scenario, but I won't be here forever...

I'd also be interested in the shorter unit. I've about had it with wrapping the hose around my neck/shoulder while using the router and also trying to avoid the Festool quick clamps and the corners and edges on an MFS.  [eek] [eek]

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2019, 01:20 PM »
OK, shortening the length is EASY!! What do you guys want for lengths?

Offline mark_hobson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2019, 01:27 PM »
Any length from 6 to 8 feet would be of interest to me.

Offline Master Carpenter

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2019, 02:40 PM »
I’m at least interested in seeing how it plays out. 8’ would be too small for my shop, 12’ would be better.
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Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2019, 02:59 PM »
I’m at least interested in seeing how it plays out. 8’ would be too small for my shop, 12’ would be better.

I'm actually planning to have the first prototype made at 12' for the shop that's doing the fabrication. For their own use. I wasn't planning ever selling one that long, but if it proves to be stable, I suppose I could.

Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #18 on: May 24, 2019, 05:11 PM »
Shooting. Got started with handguns and have an AR Pistol inbound. And you know my tastes considering how I am in the Festool forums, lol. Just didn't want to offend anyone who doesn't like guns but since you asked  [big grin]

I'm a hobbyiest and unfortunately I've discovered another hobby that is more expensive than woodworking, lol.
Do tell?

That is the only explanation needed. You have trekked into a second expensive hobby.

Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2019, 05:12 PM »
Any length from 6 to 8 feet would be of interest to me.

Same for me though I'd lean towards the 8'. I need to do some measuring though to make it gets the reach I need. Will do after the returning for the weekend.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2019, 07:13 PM »
Shooting. Got started with handguns and have an AR Pistol inbound.

Gee, I donno. If you're too girlie to have a full buttstock I'm not sure you could handle a full boom arm either. You'd probably ask me to put extra safeties on the thing too.

 [big grin] [big grin] [big grin] [big grin] [big grin]

Just yankin' your chain...I got 223 myself.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 07:15 PM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2019, 07:31 PM »
I'm really glad I posted this last night, because I'm surprised about the comments regarding lengths. Changing the length doesn't even require any re-engineering or special parts. I can literally change that on the fly. My final fabricators are the ones making the cuts that determine total length. So that's easy.

Tell me what lengths you guys want, and I can make those happen as standard configurations.

Offline Cheese

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2019, 12:47 AM »
Rick, I’d be looking at a 6 foot unit...works well for me.

As far as 223’s go...I have a Colt HBAR and it’s a tack driver.

I got interested in firearms from strictly a machining standpoint when examining a S&W handgun with the removable side plate...it was truly a thing of beauty. Line to line contact with absolutely no gaps in the fitting. You can do that type of fitment fairly easy with wood but it’s darn near impossible with steel...especially stainless steel...think Model 66.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2019, 01:11 AM »
As far as 223’s go...
Stock and Barrel just opened up a new gun club in Eagan just south of you. It is like walking into a ski lodge, but is also super inexpensive. You should check it out. Pretty much no restrictions. You can shoot full auto if you have it, and up to a 50 BMG.

Offline Cheese

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2019, 01:25 AM »
Stock and Barrel just opened up a new gun club in Eagan just south of you. It is like walking into a ski lodge, but is also super inexpensive. You should check it out. Pretty much no restrictions. You can shoot full auto if you have it, and up to a 50 BMG.

Thanks for the heads-up Rick...I’ve been meaning to go to the range for the last 15 years..but there’s always something else that needs to take precedence.  [eek]

A 50 BMG...I can only wish.  [big grin]

Offline SRSemenza

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2019, 01:30 AM »
In the current environment perhaps this should stay on the topic of articulated arm. A couple comments is one thing but lets not have this turn into a gun topic.

Thanks,

     Seth

Offline blk65brd

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2019, 02:35 AM »
Rick, I would be interested in an 8 foot boom arm, would also like a bit more information on attachment requirements, thanks.

Richard

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2019, 02:41 AM »
Rick, I would be interested in an 8 foot boom arm, would also like a bit more information on attachment requirements, thanks.

Richard

Yes, I plan on having my nephew do some engineering on mounting requirements. Even though I'm an engineer, my nephew is a civil engineer that deals with this stuff daily. He's the one that did the engineering on my own boom arm years ago.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 02:44 AM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline blk65brd

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2019, 03:07 AM »
Rick, additional question would be size of tubes, could a second tube have power, compressed air and VacSys in the same tube?  It would be nice to have an outlet at the end as well, just trying to cover all the bases here and reduce the amount of things now laying on the floor of the shop.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2019, 03:23 AM »
Rick, additional question would be size of tubes, could a second tube have power, compressed air and VacSys in the same tube?  It would be nice to have an outlet at the end as well, just trying to cover all the bases here and reduce the amount of things now laying on the floor of the shop.

Yes. The upper tube is specifically intended for a CT-vac, and is 2 inches diameter. The lower tube is also 2 inches, and is intended for running various hoses and wires. My own personal boom arm runs VacSys, compressed air, and electrical through the lower tube. Anything you can fit inside the lower 2-inch tube you can run to the end of the arm. That's the whole point.

It's not shown in my graphic, but both the upper and lower tubes are connected together across the 8-foot length with a flexible tube between them. It's all continuous.


« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 03:26 AM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2019, 03:30 AM »
Hey, Installation is so easy, you can just do it by eye.  [blink] [big grin] [eek]


Offline RobBob

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2019, 05:02 AM »
Can it be mounted from the ceiling?

For a typical two car garage, an eight foot radius might not be enough if mounted on a wall.  Mounting on the ceiling in the center of the garage might work?
« Last Edit: May 25, 2019, 09:17 AM by RobBob »

Offline Bob D.

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2019, 06:24 AM »
Can it be mounted from the ceiling?

For a typical two car garage, an eight foot radius might not be enough unless mounted in the center of the garage (from the ceiling)?

Seems like that would be possible with a braced pylon mounted to the ceiling and swivel joints. That would make a good accessory kit to the standard boom arm. You'd loose some headroom so if you had a low ceiling (or joists if not finished) in your garage. For me my garage shop ceiling is 10.5 feet. I have multiple LED shop lamps hanging at 9.5 feet AFF, but I could raise those. I also have dust collection running at 10.1' AFF and can't be raised any higher. I think I could probably clear a path between 9.0 and 9.5 feet without too much trouble for the boom arm to swing all around if mounted near the center of the shop or 180° if mounted to a wall. My shop is 24' x 24', with an 8 foot radius I could reach just about any place in the shop where I might use a tool. since most of the walls have benches or stationary power tools occupying space on them, I don't think I would need more reach than 8 feet.
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Offline denovo

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2019, 08:30 AM »
I would be interested in the 8' version in the next year

Offline KescoNY

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2019, 08:36 PM »
  I would take 1 possibly 2 8-10ft version as soon as it’s available if it’s suitable for commercial use.
I would like to run vacuum, 2 electric cords and air to meet my needs.

Would it be possible to mount a shorter version off the ceiling to an I beam ?
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Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #35 on: May 26, 2019, 03:05 AM »
I suppose I could look into designing a ceiling mount, but it could not give you 360 degree rotation. There would have to be a stop at the back, mainly for a support gusset.

However, a ceiling mount sounds nice at first, but then you have to ask, where is your vacuum hose coming from? Your vacuum hose would need to be nearly 20 feet long just to reach a nearby wall.

The design on my end would be easy for me to do. But the engineering you would have to do to ensure your ceiling structure could support it is more complex. At a minimum, you would have to use a large mounting plate on your ceiling to distribute the load across multiple joists.

Offline Bob D.

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #36 on: May 26, 2019, 06:56 AM »
" At a minimum, you would have to use a large mounting plate on your ceiling to distribute the load across multiple joists."

Agree, it is possible but maybe not that practical for most applications.

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Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #37 on: May 26, 2019, 11:29 AM »
While they may be other mounting options, let's not sidetrack Rick with ideas. Let him get this model into production. Different configurations and mounts are things that can come later. For this application wall mounting is a known quantity as it is consistent with a product Festool sells.

Offline KescoNY

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #38 on: May 26, 2019, 06:14 PM »
I suppose I could look into designing a ceiling mount, but it could not give you 360 degree rotation. There would have to be a stop at the back, mainly for a support gusset.

However, a ceiling mount sounds nice at first, but then you have to ask, where is your vacuum hose coming from? Your vacuum hose would need to be nearly 20 feet long just to reach a nearby wall.

The design on my end would be easy for me to do. But the engineering you would have to do to ensure your ceiling structure could support it is more complex. At a minimum, you would have to use a large mounting plate on your ceiling to distribute the load across multiple joists.

I currently have a ct48 on one of the pallet racks and have the hose coming down from the ceiling at the sanding station to prevent the hose from snagging or scratching the workpiece. I also have 4 ct36 on the shop floor with the boom arm and the workcenter attached to them.  Having your design would eliminate the ct36s on the shop floor, stored in the corner and used when needed.
It would not be necessary to have it ceiling mounted but would be a nice option on one of the units
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Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2019, 06:44 PM »
While they may be other mounting options, let's not sidetrack Rick with ideas. Let him get this model into production. Different configurations and mounts are things that can come later. For this application wall mounting is a known quantity as it is consistent with a product Festool sells.

I'm probably going to stop by the welding shop tomorrow to discuss the details of how we will proceed with this. Need to work through the business details. Instead of ordering the laser cut/formed components for a single prototype, I'll be ordering enough for 20 first-article units. The cost of doing that is a trivial risk, and I've gone through this design enough times that I have fairly high confidence in it. (I rarely ever need to make full prototypes for any of my designs.) Considering the comments here, I'm going to see if his guys can handle the cut list necessary for doing both 8 and 6 foot lengths right off the bat. We'll have to see about that, because it will also require figuring out shipping for two sizes too.

After I get the business details worked out, I'll probably get the website active for initial ordering.

Offline Tom Gensmer

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #40 on: May 26, 2019, 11:10 PM »
Pending specifications I'd be interested. I'm in the Minneapolis area, would there be an opportunity for a local pick up?
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Offline Alan m

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #41 on: May 27, 2019, 03:36 PM »
i wish this was in europe. i would love one.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2019, 04:32 PM by Alan m »
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Offline James Biddle

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #42 on: May 27, 2019, 06:31 PM »
Rick, a couple of questions...

will the hose for the vac be antistatic for Festool vacs?

what would the weight of the unit be, roughly?

how much weight will the unit be designer to support?

any plans to make accessories such as hangers for various sanders, etc?

will there be mounting holes at various locations or some other method to attach counterbalances?

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #43 on: May 27, 2019, 06:45 PM »
Pending specifications I'd be interested. I'm in the Minneapolis area, would there be an opportunity for a local pick up?
There's not a whole lot of specifications to give. I'm NOT going to be doing the engineering for anyone's structure. That's up to the buyer. What I will give you is the Moment of Force that an empty boom arm will apply to your structure, and another moment at the maximum rated accessory load (which I haven't decided yet). I plan on keeping the rated accessory load rather low, because there is no reason to need a lot of load, plus it just increases the moment on the structure...and I don't want any "hey, hold my beer and watch this" type stories.

Other than that, I'll come up with some basic guidelines, like minimum bolt size, and maybe a few things about reinforcing. Again, I don't want to be too specific because that could open me up for liability.

Yes, if you're local you could pick it up. You could do that even before I figure out all the normal shipping details.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #44 on: May 27, 2019, 07:29 PM »
Rick, a couple of questions...

will the hose for the vac be antistatic for Festool vacs?
I haven't decided whether the supply-side hose is included versus an optional add-on, because I'm not sure whether every buyer needs one, nor a specific length. But, in any event, any hose coming from me would be anti-static specifically to ensure there are no problems with CT-vacs getting their control boards zapped. Having it as an "option" isn't really a cost issue, but to keep the product flexible to everyone's needs.

what would the weight of the unit be, roughly?
I just added all of the material densities into SolidWorks last night so I could estimate the weight, and it came out way lighter than I had been expecting. It came in so light that I'm contemplating using a thicker walled tubing to make it easier for the welders. With the thicker tubing, it would still only be 35 pounds. It's a lot lighter than I was expecting, because the Festool ASA5000 weighed a couple hundred pounds, according to my memory.

how much weight will the unit be designer to support?
This is still up in the air, but I will be rating it for far less than the design can take. My own 16-foot boom arm has all the typical features on it, and only has a few pounds added to it. Maybe something around 25 pounds of accessory loading. I plan on hanging weights from the prototype to see how it behaves up to a yield point.

any plans to make accessories such as hangers for various sanders, etc?
Not specifically, because everyone would want a different setup. You don't want to hang a bunch of tools from a boom arm, because they'll just end up whacking you in the head as you swing the arm around for usage.

will there be mounting holes at various locations or some other method to attach counterbalances?
I haven't decided if I'm going to add any by default, because it is so easy to add your own, specific to what you want to add. Adding holes to the Festool ASA boom arm is very problematic, because you would end up drilling right into the tubing. However, for my design, I deliberately left a gap between the tubes so you can drill through-holes into the side bracing.

One possible option I have considered is a universal mount with a bunch of tapped holes, and this would bolt to the side plates.

Speaking of a tool balancer (for the hose), I just bought one (for something else) on eBay for somewhere around $10. I could offer something like that up as an option and have any holes pre-drilled. We'll see.


As you can see in the picture below, this is how I have my ASA5000 rigged up. I have a couple Home Depot hooks for hoses, a tool balancer for the vac hose, a quad box pendent for 2 circuits of power, and 2 air hoses. There isn't anything else I wish I had.

You can also see how I had to mount things to the ASA. Nothing is drilled into their arm, because the main tubes are right where you'd want to drill holes. So I had to make U-shaped wooden brackets to slip over the top of the ASA arm. Mine arm, you will at least be able to drill through the center.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2019, 07:48 PM »
P.S. If you're wondering why my boom arm can be so much lighter than Festool's, it's because I'm a better engineer than they are.  [poke]  No, seriously. All of their critical fasteners are self-tapping screws and are in tension.  [scared] All of my critical fasteners are in sheer.  8) Mine is pound-for-pound, much much stronger than theirs.

They had to make the entire length of their extruded aluminum boom and jib arms full thickness to accommodate the final 2 inches where screws were inserted. Only the end-caps need to be that robust, and they couldn't do that with an extrusion. My welded design takes more labor to build, but it puts the strength where it is needed.

Offline James Biddle

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2019, 09:09 PM »
Rick,
Thanks for answering my questions.  I'm sold.  I can see a place for two of them in the shop.  I like that shorter lengths may be available. In some areas, a 16' sweep may run into issues.  Any idea when they will be available, roughly?

As an aside, would the pivoting mechanism stand up to something such as needed for a small CNC's dust collection?  My CNC is too big for that, but I could see that as an additional market for you.

Offline Mdr6407

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #47 on: May 28, 2019, 09:21 AM »
I would be interested in a 12’ version as well but could make the 8’ work if that’s what’s produced.

Offline Bhend18

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #48 on: May 28, 2019, 07:44 PM »
I would be interested in an 8'.
Domino DF 500, CT 36 E, Boom Arm Set, CT MIDI, OF 1400, LR 32, FS 2424/2-LR 32, FS 1400/2 LR32, TS 55 REQ, TS 75 EQ, HKC 55 EB, FS 800, FS 1080, FS 1900, FS 3000, FSK 250, FSK 420, Parallel Guide Set, MFT/3, Kapex KS 120, Kapex UG, CXS, PDC 18/4, Drilling Dust Nozzle, CMS-GE, Carvex PS 420 EBQ, Pro 5 LTD,RO 90 DX, RO 150 FEQ, RTS 400 REQ, RS 2 E, LS 130 EQ, RAS 115 E, HL 850 E-F Plus, MX 1200 E EF, CT Wings, Vecturo OS 400, SysLite KAL-2, SYSRock

Offline Tim Morris

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #49 on: June 01, 2019, 03:44 PM »
Rick I've read all of the comments and your responses. Please keep me in the loop. I'm interested. THANKS!

Offline BJM9818

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #50 on: June 09, 2019, 02:11 PM »
I’d be interested in either a 8’ or 12’. Also interested in size of the tubes. If I could fit my plasma cutter torch and grounding wire in the other tube that would be awesome.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #51 on: June 09, 2019, 05:23 PM »
I’d be interested in either a 8’ or 12’. Also interested in size of the tubes. If I could fit my plasma cutter torch and grounding wire in the other tube that would be awesome.

Both upper and lower tubes are 2-inch ID, so you should have plenty of room for running whatever you need through the lower tube.


I haven't mentioned much about the shop that is helping me fabricate these, but I probably should because they are not just a typical welding shop. The welding will be done by Full Blown Motorsports (FBM), and no, I could never dream of affording their expert welding for something like this, except I am very close friends with the owner. They do stellar TIG welding, and I do a lot of design and consulting for them. FBM is a high-performance automotive tuner and parts manufacturer just down the road from me.

We've been working together for over 7 years, and I do the work because....well....IT'S FUN!!! I haven't sent them an invoice in years. We just figure out ways to make it even, like doing custom work on my vehicles and such.

Here are a couple pictures to show a good example of their work and my work. I designed this custom cast aluminum intake manifold and cast aluminum oil pan for the BRZ/FRS Boxer engine, and they sell them. They also fabricate and sell the custom turbo header and charge tubes for the same. Their aluminum and stainless steel TIG welding is second to none. I had them put a custom dual exhaust on my GMC pickup, and it was a blooming work of art!! Sitting in his shop right now is a project with multiple 30-foot long aluminum welds that are spotless, perfect dimes down the whole length. Impressive.

So yeah, the boom arms will be lookin' sweet!

Oh, P.S., I'm hoping to have the metalwork parts in the shop sometime this week.  Once I've inspected the parts for fabrication, I'll get the website active for taking orders.





« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 05:53 PM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline don4logo

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #52 on: June 19, 2019, 04:54 PM »
I'd be interested, if it were possible to use without mounting to a wall (my MFT sits in the center of my shop as an island). One thing to mention: if you want/need marketing help, I'd be open to a barter arrangement. I'm an advertising creative director at my day job, and I'd be happy to create some branding/selling materials etc. in exchange for product. Just let me know. My work is at ApplyTheCraft.com if you're curious.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #53 on: June 19, 2019, 05:05 PM »
I'd be interested, if it were possible to use without mounting to a wall (my MFT sits in the center of my shop as an island). One thing to mention: if you want/need marketing help, I'd be open to a barter arrangement. I'm an advertising creative director at my day job, and I'd be happy to create some branding/selling materials etc. in exchange for product. Just let me know. My work is at ApplyTheCraft.com if you're curious.

How you mount it is entirely up to the buyer, and I don't want to get into the liability concerns for providing advice in that regard. The simplest answer, however, is to install a column  where your vac sits, and mount the boom arm to that column. You could possibly mount it to the ceiling, but I'm not going to speculate on methods for doing this.


I just got word a few minutes ago that the parts from the laser cutter should be arriving tomorrow. I will inspect them to make sure everything is on track.....
..... and then we'll get this party started.




Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #54 on: June 19, 2019, 08:10 PM »
I'd be interested, if it were possible to use without mounting to a wall (my MFT sits in the center of my shop as an island). One thing to mention: if you want/need marketing help, I'd be open to a barter arrangement. I'm an advertising creative director at my day job, and I'd be happy to create some branding/selling materials etc. in exchange for product. Just let me know. My work is at ApplyTheCraft.com if you're curious.

Shameless self-promotion is way out of line here.

Offline ChuckM

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #55 on: June 20, 2019, 12:23 AM »
The PM is a more suitable channel for such suggested offer of service in exchange for a product or discount.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #56 on: June 20, 2019, 12:25 AM »
Let's get back on track, Ok guys?

Offline James Biddle

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #57 on: June 20, 2019, 04:38 PM »
Rick, any target for shipping?

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #58 on: June 20, 2019, 04:54 PM »
As I think I mentioned before, when the laser-cut parts show up, that will be my "kickoff" date. Well, I just got back from the shop, and have the laser-cut parts in-hand.

I'm ordering all the McMaster Carr hardware at this very moment, so that should be here Monday. We should be making the first prototype early next week, and should then be able to go straight into production welding for the remainder of this batch.

The website for ordering should go active sometime in the next few days. I anticipate being able to ship in the next 2 to 4 weeks, depending on how smooth everything falls together. Having the first one ship in 2 weeks seems like a reasonable prediction.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #59 on: July 10, 2019, 07:05 AM »
I forgot about the long holiday, so that set me back a few more days than I planned. Last week we welded up the first prototype boom, but the main tubes got ordered at the wrong diameter, and I decided to not make a whole boomarm (both booms) until the correct tube size arrives (hopefully this morning). So after a quick nap this morning, I'll head to the shop to oversee welding up the second boom that makes up a whole boom arm.

Over the long weekend, I solidified a bunch of decisions that I had been pondering. Number one, is that I decided that instead of the natural aluminum material, I will paint the main booms. They are too big to sandblast, and after welding, they just didn't have consistent color. So instead, the booms will be my RTS-Blue, and the remaining mechanical pieces will be black. (This picture below is just a mockup. The boom is in a painting fixture, and I loosely put a couple of the knuckle parts in place to show their contrast. Also, the boom does not have the side plates that a finished boom will have.)



Secondly, I have solidified the naming of the boom arm, and created the artwork for the main decals (shown above). The main product name will be "Prometheus" for the following reason:

Prometheus: The Greek Titan of forethought, responsible for bringing civilization to mankind for the arts, sciences, metal working, and woodworking. With the Prometheus Boom Arm, RTS Engineering brings some civilization to the workshop........ 

I've been staring blindly at the website for days, but I write based on pictures. So it has been a little tough writing the copy until I had pictures of the prototype. With that complete, I'm hoping to get the website live in the next day or so.


.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 07:23 AM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline RJNeal

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #60 on: July 10, 2019, 07:50 AM »
Congratulations Rick on your new product. Looks great.
I would order one up in a heart beat if I still had a shop.
I moved a year and half ago. My shop consists of a 20’ container for storage.
Rick.
Have you walked your saw today?

Offline jdm5

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #61 on: July 10, 2019, 07:55 AM »
Likely in for one and possibly even two depending on mounting options!
Drank the green Kool-Aid...gave up counting long ago.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #62 on: July 10, 2019, 08:06 AM »
Likely in for one and possibly even two depending on mounting options!

I've done the calculations, and the mounting requirements are way lower that I originally expected. That's because I based my original assumptions on the huge white elephant that Festool offers that weighs over 200 pounds. Theirs could never be mounted to a wooden wall...mine can. It only weighs 30 pounds (calculated). I think a couple of brackets and sistering some studs, is probably about all anyone my need. (of course, you must consult a structural engineer to ensure your installation is safe.)

The forces on the wall are pretty typical, but I need to double check them before publishing any numbers.


Online RKA

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #63 on: July 10, 2019, 12:54 PM »
Wow, that's really awesome (and light)!!  Love the name!
-Raj

Offline zapdafish

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #64 on: July 10, 2019, 01:31 PM »
Will you have a version that doesn't articulate? 
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline jellyroll

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #65 on: July 10, 2019, 02:57 PM »
Rick,
I’m interested for the shop I’m redesigning for our local theater where I join a group of volunteers building the sets. As a retired mechanical engineer... kudos for following good engineering design principles and for design elegance. Long term, it might be interesting to have an option of a vertical member on the wall to spread the load and if it had a “track”, to allow for height adjustment.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #66 on: July 10, 2019, 04:59 PM »
Will you have a version that doesn't articulate?

I don't anticipate doing that, because without the articulation, you are no better off than buying a Festool vac-mounted boom arm with its limited reach of just a couple of feet. The articulation gives you the ability to cover EVERYTHING from zero to 8-feet. If it was fixed-length, you'd be stuck with a single radius. Prometheus will permit you to have infinite positioning from zero to 8-foot radius.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #67 on: July 12, 2019, 12:58 AM »

The website is finally active for taking your orders for the Prometheus articulated vacuum boom arm.
www.rts-engineering.com

The articulated boom arm uses a 2-tube design, giving you dust extraction through the upper tube, and any number of other energy types through the lower tube, such as electrical power, compressed air, VacSys vacuum air, etc.

The boom arm is available in lengths of 6, 8, and 10 feet.

Oh, I forgot to mention.....
Free Shipping for introductory purchases. Limited Time offer.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 01:13 AM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #68 on: July 12, 2019, 08:29 AM »
@Rick Christopherson looks awesome!

In my use case the 10'er could be used to deliver "beer energy" from a tap out to the smoker... now if I can only figure out a project to justify that tool purchase to the boss. [scratch chin]

Best of luck with this, looks like you have a real winner here.

RMW


The website is finally active for taking your orders for the Prometheus articulated vacuum boom arm.
www.rts-engineering.com

The articulated boom arm uses a 2-tube design, giving you dust extraction through the upper tube, and any number of other energy types through the lower tube, such as electrical power, compressed air, VacSys vacuum air, etc.

The boom arm is available in lengths of 6, 8, and 10 feet.

Oh, I forgot to mention.....
Free Shipping for introductory purchases. Limited Time offer.
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline zapdafish

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #69 on: July 12, 2019, 11:01 AM »
Ah, ok, figured there was something I didn't understand.


Will you have a version that doesn't articulate?

I don't anticipate doing that, because without the articulation, you are no better off than buying a Festool vac-mounted boom arm with its limited reach of just a couple of feet. The articulation gives you the ability to cover EVERYTHING from zero to 8-feet. If it was fixed-length, you'd be stuck with a single radius. Prometheus will permit you to have infinite positioning from zero to 8-foot radius.
CT22, TS55, Kapex, RO150, Domino, RS 2 E

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #70 on: July 12, 2019, 11:56 AM »
I’d like to see a picture of the contiguous path of the vacuum hose from vac to tool.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #71 on: July 12, 2019, 12:11 PM »
I’d like to see a picture of the contiguous path of the vacuum hose from vac to tool.

Not sure what you're expecting to see with a "contiguous" picture, but the flexible hose in the main knuckle is high-grade rubber, wire reinforced hose. This is far more flexible (and expensive) than a plastic hose.

I don't cut corners on materials!




Oh, both upper and lower tubes are connected by this hose, even though the upper tube is the only one needing a vacuum seal. Your wires and hoses are not exposed when they pass through the main knuckle joint. (is that what you were wondering?)

« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 12:14 PM by Rick Christopherson »

Offline broseiden

  • Posts: 45
Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #72 on: July 12, 2019, 12:14 PM »
Looks like a wonderful solution. I've toyed with a couple different shop-built boom arm designs, but they've all been lacking... I'd like to order an 8 or 10 footer in the not-too-distant future. Any idea what shipping to Canada would cost? (I can contact you privately if preferred, just thinking others may be interested as well)

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #73 on: July 12, 2019, 12:20 PM »
Looks like a wonderful solution. I've toyed with a couple different shop-built boom arm designs, but they've all been lacking... I'd like to order an 8 or 10 footer in the not-too-distant future. Any idea what shipping to Canada would cost? (I can contact you privately if preferred, just thinking others may be interested as well)

Full Blown Motorsports is graciously allowing me to shirttail on their UPS shipping rates. (They do a very high volume of shipping, so their rates are very low.) I'll know better once we start shipping. That's the reason why I am giving free shipping on initial orders.

Offline broseiden

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #74 on: July 12, 2019, 12:22 PM »
Nice! Thanks Rick.

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #75 on: July 12, 2019, 12:30 PM »
I’d like to see a picture of the contiguous path of the vacuum hose from vac to tool.

Not sure what you're expecting to see with a "contiguous" picture, but the flexible hose in the main knuckle is high-grade rubber, wire reinforced hose. This is far more flexible (and expensive) than a plastic hose.

I don't cut corners on materials!

(Attachment Link)


Oh, both upper and lower tubes are connected by this hose, even though the upper tube is the only one needing a vacuum seal. Your wires and hoses are not exposed when they pass through the main knuckle joint. (is that what you were wondering?)

(Attachment Link)

That helps! Also, I failed to notice the elbow hidden in the mount pivot.

I prefer the dust/debris stream to pass from a hose/pipe into a larger hose pipe as it flows to the vacuum. In this case the hose from the tool would fit into Prometheus’s snout and the hose from the vac would fit over the elbow in the wall pivot. So unless the hose ends differ the elbow diameters should differ (in my ideal world).

Offline James Biddle

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #76 on: July 12, 2019, 12:47 PM »
Rick, can you show a pic with the vacuum hoses attached and a few other services in the other tube?  It's probably the angle of the pic you have, but it looks like an air hose would be kinked by the vacuum hose elbow. 

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #77 on: July 12, 2019, 01:02 PM »
This might answer both of your questions. Here is the actual elbow that is used for both supply and tool drop-down connections. The bead gets cut off on the side that gets welded into the aluminum tube. However, that bead is what permits a Festool suction hose to be clamped on the other end, very securely.

It is just dumb-luck, but this is an elbow that my welder keeps in high volume, and it fits perfectly for what I needed. Literally, the whole design was based around this elbow.

No, your hoses will not be kinked under the elbow. That is something that I was VERY aware of from the beginning, because Festool's ASA5000 boom arm had less space under the elbow than I do. That is exactly why I based the whole design around this particular elbow.

Offline JimH2

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #78 on: July 12, 2019, 01:09 PM »
Looks like a wonderful solution. I've toyed with a couple different shop-built boom arm designs, but they've all been lacking... I'd like to order an 8 or 10 footer in the not-too-distant future. Any idea what shipping to Canada would cost? (I can contact you privately if preferred, just thinking others may be interested as well)

Full Blown Motorsports is graciously allowing me to shirttail on their UPS shipping rates. (They do a very high volume of shipping, so their rates are very low.) I'll know better once we start shipping. That's the reason why I am giving free shipping on initial orders.

Well done effort on this whole project and a big thanks to Full Blown for assisting.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #79 on: July 12, 2019, 01:40 PM »
Full Blown just left, after dropping off the load of aluminum stock. We decided to drop it at my shop, because Kapex will cut it faster than their metal-cutting band saw. 24-foot long sticks. I'll be a little busy this weekend. We'll start the mad welding on Monday.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #80 on: July 12, 2019, 01:53 PM »
Hey, by the way, I'll be cutting these to length this weekend based on what has already been ordered this morning (first come first weld). So anyone that is planning to place an order before Monday, If you could drop me a note (or post here) which size you plan to get, that would help me plan which cuts to make first.

Of course I will be cutting extras, but I am still getting a feel for which sizes are more popular.

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #81 on: July 16, 2019, 06:44 PM »
I spent the day at the welding shop (Full Blown Motorsports) showing them how to jig-up the parts for welding, and where/how I wanted everything welded. It was a gazillion degrees in their shop today, so I'm a bit knackered out. I'll try to post more later on.

In the mean time, I decided to snap some pictures of the incredible welding these guys can pull off, before I cover all that beauty with paint. (I already painted the main boom. This is the jib boom for the first 10-foot boom arm.) Ayup, the welds were smooth enough that I was totally comfortable laying it down on my truck's tonneau cover to take pictures.




Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #82 on: July 18, 2019, 01:26 AM »
Well, I got the first 10-foot boom arm assembled. Everything has come out as expected. There's just a few other parts I need before I can begin shipping them out.


Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #83 on: July 19, 2019, 09:07 AM »
Very nice!

No matter how hard I try I cannot manufacture come up with a reason to justify the, ahem, "need" for one in my shop. Dammit.

RMW

Well, I got the first 10-foot boom arm assembled. Everything has come out as expected. There's just a few other parts I need before I can begin shipping them out.

(Attachment Link)
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #84 on: July 19, 2019, 11:32 AM »
Very nice!

No matter how hard I try I cannot manufacture come up with a reason to justify the, ahem, "need" for one in my shop. Dammit.

RMW

Richard, it's not the need, but the joy!

Offline rst

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #85 on: July 19, 2019, 12:05 PM »
Since when has need been associated with Festool. 

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #86 on: July 19, 2019, 01:31 PM »
"Need" is related to the story justifying the expense to SHMBO.

Bunch'a rookies....  [poke]

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline sprior

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #87 on: July 19, 2019, 02:31 PM »
Very nice!

No matter how hard I try I cannot manufacture come up with a reason to justify the, ahem, "need" for one in my shop. Dammit.

RMW


Expenses related to cleanliness/dust control have an express approval process with SWMBO at my house, and are you sure there isn't a safety aspect to this as well?

Offline Bob D.

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #88 on: July 19, 2019, 10:31 PM »
The safety angle could be it removes trip hazards from the floor like hoses and cords.

And that's the truth.
-----
It's a table saw, do you know where your fingers are?

Offline DynaGlide

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #89 on: Yesterday at 06:02 AM »
Slippery slope playing the safety angle. If you're too clumsy to step over some cords what else are you too clumsy to be around? Might find you're talking yourself out of being in your shop altogether. Gotta be careful with the approach argument.
@matts.garage

Offline Rick Christopherson

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #90 on: Yesterday at 06:35 AM »
Slippery slope playing the safety angle. If you're too clumsy to step over some cords what else are you too clumsy to be around? Might find you're talking yourself out of being in your shop altogether. Gotta be careful with the approach argument.

You would never say this if you had ever actually used an overhead boom arm. It's a game-changer that goes way beyond a vac-mounted arm. It's the single most valuable tool in my shop for the past decade.

Offline DynaGlide

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #91 on: Yesterday at 08:07 AM »
@Rick Christopherson I should've quoted someone. I meant talking to the wife  ;)
@matts.garage

Offline Michael Kellough

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #92 on: Yesterday at 10:51 AM »
I’ve been working developing my cord consciousness for decades.

The answer is go cordless, as in segregation of cords and feet.
My feet can’t stay in the air but the cords can.

Offline Richard/RMW

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Re: RTS Engineering 8-Foot Articulated Boom Arm
« Reply #93 on: Yesterday at 05:27 PM »
The CT26/UDD are as high as I can get them for space-saving purposes. From there 3-4 strategically placed retractors allow me to move the hose/cord to wherever I need it. Not particularly elegant but it's been flexible over time as I reconfigure things. It's tough for me to get more than 4' or so from the cord/extractor.





Unless I've moved to the outdoor section of the shop that is...

I'd love to be in a situation that needed the articulating boom, it looks slick. I sometimes daydream of having a large shop again but in my reality that would mean leaving the shore and I'm not ready for that yet.

RMW
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!